How to protect yourself against credit card skimmers

SAN ANTONIO – A local woman had a warning for others after crooks stole nearly $500 from her account.

“It’s hard to protect your money nowadays,” Carri Amescua said.

Amescua said she knew something was not right when her debit card was declined after she used it at HEB about one week ago.

“I logged on and I looked and it showed that someone had used our card for almost $500 at Best Buy in Houston,” Amescua said.

She said her credit union told her since the $448.92 charge was made by swiping a card and entering a pin number, it would not reimburse the money.

“It’s uncomfortable because that’s where all of our money gets deposited, so we’re having to be there the day our deposits go in to make sure we get our money out immediately,” Amescua said.

San Antonio Police believed someone got her card and pin number from a skimmer at a gas station off Nacogdoches Road. SAPD said officers have noticed an increase in the number of credit card skimmers on gas pumps across the city.

“It only takes a matter of seconds for an identity thief to place one of these readers on top of a legitimate reader,” Miguel Segura, with the Better Business Bureau, said.

Segura suggested consumers always check for security stickers before filling up at the pump.

“It sounds a little bit silly, but I shake every card reader at an ATM or gas pump that I go to just to make sure it’s not loose,” Segura said.

The BBB also recommended using a credit card because it is easier to dispute fraudulent charges on a credit card versus a debit card.

Some gas stations also have signs telling customers to run their cards as credit and enter the five-digit billing zip code to prevent unauthorized charges.



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